Churches seek government assurances over Malawi aid cuts

By staff writers
July 23, 2011

The Church of Scotland and Christian Aid have written to the Department for International Development*, asking for assurances that funding for Malawi will still reach the most vulnerable, following cuts.

Direct budget aid to the government of Malawi was suspended by Britain three days ago.

The Church of Scotland is a member of the Scotland-Malawi Partnership which actively engages thousands of Scots and Malawians to work together to support Malawi’s development.

The Rev Ian Galloway, Convenor of the Church and Society Council of the Church of Scotland, signed the letter with former Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, the Very Rev Dr Andrew McLellan. Morag Mylne, Chair of the Advisory Committee for Scotland, Christian Aid, also signed the letter.

Mr Galloway said: “The Scotland-Malawi Partnership is well-known across Scotland and enjoys wide popular support, involving as it does numerous schools, universities and local communities. The links between the Church of Scotland in particular and Malawi are historically deep rooted and characterised by continuing strong relationships.

The Church of Scotland and Christian Aid are concerned that the poorest and most vulnerable Malawians who depend on development partners and aid for basic services, such as food, health and farming will suffer.

Dr McLellan said: “The Department for International Development has said that it will use other means to ensure that programmes to protect poor Malawians, amongst the poorest people in the world, and deliver basic services such as education and health to continue. This indicates that the department intends to find other avenues for making the funding which has been cut available to Malawians. “

Both the Church of Scotland and Christian Aid are asking for assurance that despite the cuts, all the funding intended for the poorest will reach those who need it.

Dr McLellan added: “We would be gravely concerned if the outcomes of this present decision are felt most adversely by people whose lives are already unstable and precarious.”

* A copy of the letter to Andrew Mitchell MP, Secretary of State at the Department for International Development can be found on the Church of Scotland website:


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